Wall Street Killed the Newspaper Star
Laura Frank has described what REALLY happened to American newspapers…Starting 2008, the same year that the economic crisis hit markets around the world, newspapers have been in a drastic change in the US. Several papers, such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain news have been forced to close down. Papers across the US have suffered severely.
The reason that was given for their dire situation?
Online killed the newspaper star!
With Craigslist and other free services on the internet, newspapers blamed the internet for the decline in advertisement revenues they witnessed.
Laura Frank, an investigative reporter who herself has been layed off during the crisis dug deeper into the economic forces behind the “death of newspapers” for PBS’s “Exposè” format in 2009. She found that they had actually set out to kill themselves. She tracks this development back to the point when newspaper icon Al Neuharth of the Gannett corporation went public on Wall Street, promising sky high profit margins.
The push for profits, Frank reports, is what eventually led to cost cutting in the newsrooms and through these cuts to a decline in quality. She provides several graphs and stats showing that news corporations’ profits (when adjusted for inflation) was still higher than the average profit over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, employment dropped severely.
Frank’s investigation shows that rather than suffering from a sudden drop in advertisement through the crisis or from competition online, newspapers caused their own dismal.
Although this investigation has now been around for two years, I consider it vital to explain what happened to the American newspaper industry. It will definitely serve a good purpose in my Master’s thesis 😉